By The Nation
THE STUDENT Loan Fund (SLF) was yesterday instructed to take all necessary steps under a new law to collect overdue debts from borrowers before taking action against loan guarantors.
The law, which came into effect last year, gives the SLF full access to a borrowers’ income details, and obligates public and private employers to allow salary deductions to repay the SLF debts.
Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, director-general of the Legal Execution Department (LED), cited a recent case of Khamphaeng Phet teacher Vipa Banyen who faced asset seizure for signing as a guarantor for government loans between 1998 and 1999 for her ex-students, who then refused to repay the debts.
She said the teacher faced legal action because the SLF followed the previous law that allowed officials to automatically go after the guarantors for payment when they could not reach the borrowers.
Ruenvadee said at a press conference yesterday that her agency would contact the Interior Ministry’s Provincial Administration Department to find out how many kamnans and village headmen had signed as guarantors to help youths to secure student loans, and find solutions to the issue.
The LED however had no information about a Chaiyaphum teacher who had claimed to have suffered asset seizure then bankruptcy in the same manner as Vipa. Ruenvadee said the SLF had never sued any borrowers for bankruptcy.
Ruenvadee said that the LED earned more than Bt3 billion (Bt35,857,767,821) from auctions selling seized assets in this fiscal year’s third quarter (October 2017-June 2018), a 7.92 per cent hike from the same period in the previous fiscal year.
She also said that the LED had mediated 18,129 legal disputes, covering assets worth Bt5,575,269,363 during the nine month period from October 2017 to June 2018, which is 87.7 per cent of all incoming cases.
Among the disputes in this same period, 8,114 were linked to the SLF (more than double the 4,038 cases recorded during the same period last year) and the LED successfully mediated 7,1581 SLF-linked cases covering assets worth Bt880 million, she added.
Ruenvadee said her agency would submit information to the Comptroller General’s Department so that some 200 LED officials could start the SLF debt repayments. She also said that the SLF had in the first nine months of fiscal year 2018 withheld the salary of 8,384 borrowers to arrange for the deduction of an obligatory repayment.